Social media collective guidelines

Social media collective guidelines


In forming these guidelines, we remind every member of the party to be mindful. Their posts reflect on the Party’s public image, whether it is on a personal, club, or national account.


1. Accounts must be approved by your club and district and should be collectively run. No personal opinions or individual analysis should be posted to these accounts. Never tweet/post in first person, we function as a collective. Each post represents the voice of the Party, not you as an individual. If you want to express your personal opinion about something, it’s best to do so on your own personal social media. To be cleared as an official account, the club or district it represents must inform the Social Media Collective.


2. Follow the Party Program and keep tweets and opinions within those lines. Read the Party Program before taking over or starting up a social media account. Before posting, maybe run it by a member of your club/district just to see if it’s in line with the Party Program. A good way to avoid posting things out of line with what the party stands for is to post our material — or articles — with quotes from the articles as the headline. Do not affiliate yourself or the club/district with beliefs and ideologies that are incompatible with the Party or Young Communist League. This includes socialist patriotism, trotskyism, maoism, anarchism, etc. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc are also completely incompatible in any form with our party and with our Marxist-Leninist ideology.


3. All social media accounts, including Party personalities, club and national accounts should only support candidates approved by the club, district, or national party.


4. Keep a professional attitude when posting. Do not engage with online trolls. Keep responses limited, delete comments and block accounts if they cause problems. If you do feel the absolute need to react to a comment, consider sending the person who commented a private message. This will prevent any long, drawn-out conversation which often happens in the form of arguments.


5. No name-calling or insulting of comrades. This goes for party-run accounts and personal accounts. You joined the Communist Party which means you are a part of a collective. We are a united party despite our individual opinions, which we welcome. However, we draw the line at bashing the party we all belong to or name-dropping comrades with whom we may disagree on certain topics. There are platforms for these discussions to be held, and it’s not on social media for the world to see. Harassment and abusive behavior towards non-Party members is also not acceptable in the slightest.


6. Do not promote violence or incite violence. Our Party members were falsely arrested, imprisoned, deported and executed in the 1950s for “conspiring to teach violence.” Not a good move. Protect yourself and the Party and do not post such things. It risks embarrassing and threatening the Party’s security.


7. Accounts should not post about political tragedy in a way that is opportunistic, or to grift a following off international, national, and local tragedies. In posting about international conflicts, local tragedies, etc., make the topic at hand the forefront of the post and make sure not to post about tragedies in a way to recruit members to the party, but instead to promote action and education on the topic at hand. If you have a question about the Party’s stances on a certain event, investigate sources on the subject on the main website or consult your club, district, or national leadership.


8. Clubs should seek to promote and support community organizers but should be mindful that in posting about events there should be clarity in who organized the event or action (don’t take credit for something you didn’t organize).


When posting about local and national events, make sure not to post in a way that makes your club appear to have helped organize or support it if it did not. We do not want to steal the work of other organizers and should aim to promote events that your club either will attend or helped organize. Posting about an event that your club had no part in organizing as if it was your own will only put the liability on the Party and could likely lead to confusion and anger from the community in which the event was organized if the club had no part.


9. The internet is a venue for the battle of ideas. We want to display an image of ourselves that is modern, and relevant. Posting quotes and pictures of Stalin and Mao do not benefit our Party and appeal only to the already “left” and to online users. Similarly, do not post memes/jokes on party accounts as our accounts are places people go for information about the Party. Do not post about controversial figures such as Stalin and Mao, this only creates division and does not help our image. Admins should strive to highlight our own great thinkers and leaders as well as international ones. When in doubt, consult the collective running your account.


10. Keep in mind the area you represent. Club and district accounts should post mostly about what’s happening in their areas. A good ratio should be 70% local happenings 20% wider national happening 10% international. Club and district accounts should be reaching the working class in the areas they are active in. Post about local work and news as much as possible.


11. When sharing graphics and posts online, clubs should aim to promote diversity as it is represented in the working class, in the club, club leadership, and the community. In graphics, make it a point not to just show one or two types of people, but sharing a diverse range of people to connect further with your community including diversity of race, gender, sex, nationality, ethnicity, religion, differently abled, etc.


12. Club and YCL accounts should aim for a following and connection on their social media accounts that is derived from and is representative of their own communities and areas of their club’s influence. A helpful tip could be to follow the followers of local organizations such as student, community, and labor organizations.


13. In posting and creating graphics and content for club and national social media accounts, refrain from using AI to create whole visual work (the current state of AI creates graphics based from artists without compensation). This does not apply to text-based AI and using AI to edit your own work.


14. The CPUSA and YCL have their own branded logos, fonts, colors, and profile picture styles. Please refer to the CPUSA style guide for further help on account branding. (Add hyperlink to style guide)


15. When posting on Party accounts, seek to make content accessible for all people where possible, including closed captions on videos, and making posts with multiple languages representing your community.


16. We are part of the world communist movement and our special position as the Communist Party in the United States means a great deal. The US is the main imperialist power in the world and we do not want to be portrayed as chauvinistic. Do not involve yourself in the internal affairs of other Communist parties and progressive movements.


17. The national account, @communistsusa, is the representative of the Social Media Collective and of national leadership. The account and its admin(s) are to be respected as representatives of the national leadership. Likewise, any issues or concerns are to be sent to the account, not directly to our co-chairs.


Democratic centralism


Democratic centralism starts with the connection of each local Party organization with the working class in struggle. Once national decisions have been made based on democratic discussion, the whole Party must strive to implement them. It means we strive for collective functioning, not just individual good work. It means encouraging and organizing the full democratic participation of all members, but with a prohibition against factional organizing. It means working to unite theory and practice, and to collectively advance the development of theory based on the continual examination of a constantly changing world. Unity — of purpose, of action, of vision — is important not just in a union, mass movement, or coalition; it is crucial for a Communist Party.


From the CPUSA Program: “Party members should keep in mind not to intervene in the affairs of other localities.”


Discipline procedures


Official accounts and individuals who violate these guidelines will be subject to review by the Social Media Collective. The Social Media Collective Executive Committee will provide a recommendation to the Club and District with recommended appropriate actions. If an official account is in question. the Social Media Collective Executive Committee can recommend the transfer of the account to a different user.



Images: Social media by Laura Pasquini (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).